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Oct 9, 2011 11:27 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Mourners Pack Vigil For Mom And Son Killed In Manorville Crash On Saturday

Oct 12, 2011 1:28 PM

Hundreds of mourners packed the bleachers and football field at Eastport South Manor Junior-Senior High School on Tuesday night during a candlelight vigil held in memory of Keri Trinca, 30, and her 7-year-old son, Jason, who were both killed on Saturday morning in a car accident in Manorville.

Mothers and fathers, children and friends came carrying tiny racing helmets adorned with the number 48, in honor of Jason—who wore that number while racing go-karts at Riverhead Raceway—and wearing T-shirts with photos of Ms. Trinca and her son. Parents held their children close as they sobbed silently, many too grief-stricken to speak.

Ms. Trinca was driving a 1998 Honda Accord eastbound on Oceanview Boulevard Extension at about 8:25 a.m. on Saturday when, upon entering the intersection with County Road 111, the car collided with a southbound 2002 Ford E350 van driven by Steven Vonfricken, 51, of Saint James.

Ms. Trinca was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Jason, an Eastport Elementary School student, later died due to his injuries at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead.

Ms. Trinca’s two surviving children, Marialena, nicknamed “Fresh,” 4, and Christopher, 2, were critically injured in the crash and are still being cared for at Stony Brook University Medical Center.

Mr. Vonfricken and his passenger, Edward James, 50, of Smithtown, were transported to Peconic Bay Medical Center. They were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.

Remembering Ms. Trinca, words were echoed again and again as friends spoke of a devoted mother whose life revolved around her children. “She was a great mom,” said Manorville resident Erica Sickles.

Carla Roberts, who lives next door to the Trinca family in Manorville, said Ms. Trinca, who loved organizing activities with her children, already had festive Halloween decorations adorning their home.

Jason, said neighbor Jeanine Randazzo, was best friends with her 7-year-old son, Jack. “They played together every day,” she said, adding that while her children have been told about the tragedy, they are too young to comprehend that Jason will not be coming home.

It was a night of heartbreaking music and memories, as Ms. Trinka’s cousin, Danielle Chavez, played “I Will Remember You,” for the woman who, she said, always had an open heart and door for those in need. “Her dreams were endless,” said Ms. Chavez, adding that Ms. Trinka, who attended both Patchogue-Medford High School and East Hampton High School, had gone back to school to study nursing.

Ms. Trinca’s passion for life was reflected in her children, Ms. Chavez said. “Jason was fearless,” she said. Crowds raised their hands in the air and smiled through their tears as Jason’s favorite song played: “All I Do Is Win,” by DJ Khaled.

Also in attendance were Ms. Trinca’s mother, Debbie Miller, and aunt, Karen Christopherson.

A memorial service was held at the vigil, marked by hymns, prayers, and the words of Father Bruce J. Powers of Saints Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church in Manorville: “Our hearts are broken, but we know God has not left us alone.”

According to Detective Sergeant James McGuinness of the Suffolk County Police Department, as of Monday afternoon, both hospitalized children were still in critical condition but improving. “They’re not out of the woods yet, but they’re doing better,” he said.

According to Det. Sgt. McGuinness, the investigation is ongoing, and witnesses who may have seen the fatal accident are asked to come forward with details. “It appears that Ms. Trinca’s car entered the intersection and was struck by the van,” he said, adding that there is a traffic signal at the site. No charges have been filed.

In the days since the tragedy, devastated friends, family and strangers have opened their hearts, donating funds to help defray funeral costs and other expenses.

A fundraiser will be held tonight, October 13, at Villa Michelangelo’s on County Road 111 in Manorville from 6 to 8 p.m. A second fundraiser will be held on Sunday at the AMF Shirley Lanes bowling alley on William Floyd Parkway in Shirley, from 3 to 5 p.m. Another is scheduled for October 27 at Martha Clara Vineyard in Jamesport from 7 to 10 p.m.

Friends and loved ones have created two Facebook pages, Strength for the Trincas and Trinca Motorsports, to help collect donations and share memories of a loving mother and her little boy. Donations can also be sent to The Trinca Family, P.O. Box 176, Kings Park, NY 11754.

“Although they are not here with us, I know my cousin would be smiling ear to ear at the way her community and Long Island has reached out to help her family. We are so thankful for all of your love and support,” said Ms. Chavez.

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what a sad story....
By coxie1 (36), southampton on Oct 9, 11 12:59 PM
OMG...What a horrific event! So sad!!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 11 3:08 PM
I really hope the media will give this family the time and space needed to heal and allows them respect and privacy to do so. this is the most unimaginable thing any family can possibly go thru and deal with, especially involving children so young, who will not be able to understand the enormity of it all. my deepest deepest sympathies.....
By honeylamb (71), East Quogue on Oct 9, 11 3:21 PM
2 members liked this comment
Terrible, Terrible, Terrible
By mightycolemack (15), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 11 5:55 PM
CR111 has been the scene of several fatal crashes. One wonders why this four lane highway has claimed so many victims. Perhaps a police investigation will turn up some answers. My thoughts are with all iinvolved in this tragic event.
By CaptPhil (1), Hampton Bays on Oct 9, 11 8:05 PM
My wife and I were driving out from Brooklyn when we were passed by the van and less than a minute later came upon the accident that had just happened. I had nightmares last night after learning of the deaths that resulted, My prayers are with the family and the young victims in the hospital.
By Rich Morey (372), Brooklyn on Oct 9, 11 9:39 PM
SIr, PLEASE contact Suffolk County Police, to answer a few questions. You are one of the only people that saw the van. You mention your wife was with you, she may have seen something also. Please contact the Police. Thank-you, I am a member of the family and would greatly appreciate it.
By Carz (2), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 11 10:18 PM
Mr. Morey, please contact the police if you haven't already done so. They are looking for any information that can help them find out what happened. Thanks
By lc1112 (1), Cranston on Oct 9, 11 10:48 PM
My wife and I spoke to the police Sunday morning.
By Rich Morey (372), Brooklyn on Oct 10, 11 12:48 PM
2 members liked this comment
Thank you Mr. Morley, on behalf of the Trinca and Miller families.
By Carz (2), Hampton Bays on Oct 14, 11 10:20 PM
1 member liked this comment
Keri Trinca (Miller) was an East Hampton High School graduate so many locals knew her. I cannot even begin to comprehend the loss and pain this family is experiencing. My heart and thoughts go out to them.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Oct 10, 11 6:23 AM
actually, she went to PatMed....
By yourwrong (1), remsenburg on Oct 12, 11 3:30 PM
acutally she attended both high schools but does that really matter!
By bonac79 (18), East Hampton on Oct 13, 11 12:21 PM
Just when everyone is going crazy about politics and the gossip, this is the important things to life... family. We all need to just slow our minds down a little and remember family and friends and forget the other non sense. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and i pray those two little ones pull through in Stony Brook.
By SHTownHB (75), Hampton Bays on Oct 10, 11 11:56 AM

For many years now, I have made it a practice to call upon a phrase to help me get through what all too often is a trivial situation..."You need a bigger problem".. The kids and wife kinda shrug it off when they and sometimes myself lament over no nearby parking spaces...wrong take out food order... Three people ahead on a checkout line... ETC.

Next time... Give the Trinca family a thought and ask God to give them the strength and faith to pass through these times of trouble that ...more
By kahuna (67), Tampa on Oct 10, 11 2:55 PM
One Of my close friends named Kaila hated hearing this because this was her aunt and uncle with her cousins She was crying :(
By Friendoffmaily (1), ManorVille on Oct 11, 11 4:57 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with the Trinca family at this time. What a tragedy.
By WM11976 (12), Water Mill on Oct 11, 11 4:59 PM
Please, please, please drive safely. Put the phones down, slow down, the text and email can wait, don't blow that red light. What can be so important that you are willing to risk killing someone?
By double standard (1506), Remsenburg on Oct 15, 11 10:50 AM
1 member liked this comment
she planted a garden. she fed, sowed and nurtured her garden she has passed as did one of her plants but she will still watch over her garden by way of her surviving childred and husband who must be in the most agony ever possibly. My prayers to all the family and to Keri, look down at the garden you have planted it will not go away and you will stay with that garden looking from another place
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Oct 18, 11 6:13 PM
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